Originally Posted by conzboneeus
I am going to be in Vegas for work til 12/18 and right now have tickets to SLC for the 19th thru 24th on Southwest. Plan was to ski Cottonwoods, and I still may if it snows. Been there many times have the drill down, rental car, where to stay, etc and so on.
Right now I am reading that over the next few weeks they expect pretty good dumps in the Tahoe area. If Utah stays dry and it gets good in Tahoe I may switch my ticket fly into Reno and ski Tahoe are.
Problem is I have never been there and am clueless as to logistics. Rent a car or is there a shuttle? I always rent a car in SLC and stay in Midvale usally at Super 8 or something similar. Are there decent hotels/motels to stay in like that in Taho area?
How much of a drive is it from Reno to the Tahoe area. Can I stay in a spot that gives me access to different areas, like Midvale gives me access to the Cottonwoods, Park City area, and PowMow even?
Any advice, tips, places to stay, etc and so on would be appreciated. I am intermediate skier groomers and powder. Not looking for massive steeps like Snowbird but ski Alta and Solitude a lot and would welcome areas with varied terrain like that.
1) The moisture in Lake Tahoe usually travels west to Utah. It could snow more in Lake Tahoe and not travel west, but that is not within the usual pattern. www.opensnow.com has good forecasts for powder.
2) In UT, the 3 Park City resorts are heaven for intermediates who ski groomers and some powder. Yeah, there is more of the powder in the Cottonwoods from the Lake effect, but there is more terrain for intermediates per resort in Park City if it is all open at that time (that is a big "if").
3) You can drive from Reno or stay closer to the mountains. Much cheaper lodging will be found at Heavenly (most of the 4800 acres are "intermediate") than in North Lake Tahoe up until the 22nd or so. Reno is likely the cheapest option without factoring in a rental car, but you will have to drive to N Lake Tahoe.
4) If you want to stay in N or S Lake Tahoe, the hotel booking sites give you the best prices. For example, I can stay in a cheap motel for only $28 per night in SLT this Thursday and Friday. I am not saying I want that type of accommodation, just that it is an option. The casinos also offer great deals from time-to-time. For the casinos it is based on supply and demand, and the rates vary widely and wildly. Several (Harvey's, Harrah's, Mountbleu) are within walking distance to the Heavenly gondola. There is a shuttle from the Reno airport that will get you to and from the major hotels if you do not want to rent a car.
5) If you go to Lake Tahoe, check what terrain is open before you go. If Heavenly only has, say, 300 acres open out of 4800, go to NLT or UT. If it has 3000 acres open, consider that as "intermediate" heaven, with wide open tree skiing that is ungroomed. An "intermediate" can handle most of the "advanced" terrain there (e.g., Aries Woods, Dipper Woods, Milky Way Bowl, etc.) if the snow is favorable. Right now Mt. Rose and N* have a lot more open than Heavenly, but that can change with two good storms. One of those storms is coming this Thursday and Friday.
Edited by quant2325 - 12/7/14 at 10:49am